Home K-Biz TOP 5 K-Dramas That Were *Not As Successful As Expected* Despite The...

TOP 5 K-Dramas That Were *Not As Successful As Expected* Despite The Popular Cast

Song Joong Ki, Park Shin Hye, Lee Min Ho… – if you are a ̾k̾o̾r̾e̾an drama geek, you have probably heard of their names. These actors and actresses are so familiar with the au∂ιєnce by now, that it’s safe to a̾s̾sume all their works must be super successful. Right? Well, unfortunately, that’s just… not the case, as all the works on this list still failed to capture the ̾k̾o̾r̾e̾an au∂ιєnce, despite having overwhelmingly famous casts.

1. Sisyphus: The Myth

Produced for the 10th anniversary of the broadcasting station jTBC, ‘Sisyphus’ aroused high expectations with its ma̾s̾sive budget and hugely popular cast. With leading characters played by Park Shin Hye and Jo Seung Woo, alongside an innovative plot of time-travelling, everyone thought that ‘Sisyphus’ would be a sure-fire success.

However, jTBC’s take on science fiction did not fare well this time, as ‘Sisyphus’ started with a 5.6% viewership rating that constantly dropped and eventually reached as low as 3%.

flop kdramaDespite being highly anticipated and having top actors, Sisyphus: The Myth failed quite miserably.

So, what had gone wrong? Apparently, the screenwriter was a bit too ambitious and tried to force way too many elements into the plot. Afterall, it’s hard to follow when there are quantum physics, time theories, a loveline, and at least two evil organizations stuffed within a single ̾k̾o̾r̾e̾an drama. Characters in this series are also not exactly likeable at first sight, so it kinda takes time before we can actually root for them. And to put the final nail in the coffin, there are some terribly sнιтty special effects that look more at home in a Zoom cla̾s̾s session than in a high-budget ̾k̾o̾r̾e̾an drama.

It’s safe to say that while Sisyphus did redeem itself in the later half, it was too late to capture the au∂ιєnce by then.

2. Doom at your service

Another recent drama that makes the list is ‘Doom at your service’, which follows the love story between a destruction god and a miserable human, played by the famous Park Bo Young and Seo In Guk.

The series boasts quality acting and chemistry, along with an all-star lineup for its original soundtrack, which consists of Baekhyun, Gummy, Davichi, and Kpop group TXT. Needless to say, ‘Doom at your service’ was expected to top its airing time slot on Monday and Tuesday evenings. However, despite all the hype and a promising plot, the series started with a rating as low as 4 percent, which dropped to 2.5 percent in later episodes. What exactly led to this disappointing performance?

flop kdrama 1Doom At Your Service scored terribly low ratings despite having Seo In Guk and Park Bo Young in the cast.

Well, to start with, ‘Doom at your service’ is introduced as a fantasy series that lean towards romance-comedy, and it sure did the job well in early episodes. The characters were likable, somewhat hilarious, and the au∂ιєnce expected them to be happy as the series progressed.

But things soon went downhill as the plot became overly dramatic – and that’s not exactly what the au∂ιєnce would look for on a stressful Monday night. That’s not to say ‘Doom at your service’ is a bad series by any means, but perhaps it will do better in a different time slot. Better luck next time.

3. Moon Lovers

Before you argue that ‘Moon Lovers’ never flop, let’s first make this clear: yes, the series is a huge sensation on international grounds, but it did not do so well in its home country upon screening.

With an all-star cast ranging from famous Kpop idols like IU and EXO’s Baekhyun, to quality actors like Lee Jun Ki and Nam Joo Hyuk, one would expect nothing but a ma̾s̾sive нιт, preferably with sky-high viewership ratings.

flop kdrama 2Having famous idols and actors on the set didn’t guarantee Moon Lovers’ success.

This is why the series’ average rating of 7.6% was just pure disappointing, especially when there are episodes where the ratings dropped to just above 5%. With brilliant characters, acting, and a heart-wrenching storyline, we can’t really say any bad thing about this drama. So, what exactly prompted its failure?

Well, in the end, it all boils down to bad timing. The series was aired on Monday and Tuesday evenings, around August of 2016, and this timeslot turned out to be less than ideal. In the same airtime was “Love in the Moonlight”, a historical drama that features Park Bo Gum and Kim Yoo Jung.

flop kdrama 3Instead, the series was completely crushed by its competitor ‘Love in the moonlight’

This rival series introduces a much lighter and happy story, which in hindsight, might have been a better way for the au∂ιєnce to start the week. Park Bo Gum’s dancing video on the drama set also went viral, thus attracting most viewers during the time slot. With ratings reaching as high as 22%, it’s obvious that “Love in the Moonlight” had completely squashed “Moon Lovers” in South ̾k̾o̾r̾e̾a, a huge pity for such a good drama.

4. The King: Eternal Monarch

After “Boys over Flower”, “City Hunter”, “The Heirs”, and so on, it seems that having Lee Min Ho on the set would guarantee enormous success. However, this turns out to be untrue when “The King: Eternal Monarch” is aired, and even Kim Eun Sook, the screenwriter behind major нιтs like “Descendants of the Sun” and “Goblin” can’t save this drama from failure.

flop kdrama 4With Lee Minho, Kim Goeun, and a terribly high budget, The King: Eternal Monarch still failed to retain its audiences.

“The King: Eternal Monarch” tries to be out of the box when it tackles “parallel worlds”, a topic rarely touched in ̾k̾o̾r̾e̾an dramaland. However, its execution soon fell short as some details are just too lengthy, the plot way too confusing, the product placements an eyesore, and the chemistry between the leads sometimes feel forced. To add to this hot mess, the series was also accused of copying jäṗäńese arcнιтecture and warship designs – an event that many netizens considered an insult to ̾k̾o̾r̾e̾an culture.

Initially spotting a viewership rating as high as 11 percent, ‘The King: Eternal Monarch” eventually lσst its hype, and only managed to attract around 5% of TV viewers as it ended. This proves that you can’t mask a mess with beautiful actors, even if they are as brilliant as Lee Min Ho and Kim Go Eun.

5. Arthdal Chronicles

When it comes to big budgets and famous actors, we can’t go without mentioning ‘Arthdal Chronicles’. The series spent an astronomical amount of production fee, and introduced a line-up full of both famous drama actors and movie stars, including Song Joong Ki, Kim Ji Won, and Jang Dong Gun.

flop kdrama 5Arthdal Chronicles failed to live up to expectations.

‘Arthdal Chronicles’ was an extremely ambitious project: It was the first ̾k̾o̾r̾e̾an ancient fantasy drama, and took place in an era never tackled before on the screen. Even the runtime was different compared to other productions: with 18 episodes divided into 3 parts, instead of a single season like other series.

However, despite the famous cast, intricate plot, and high investment, the series tanked hard in South ̾k̾o̾r̾e̾a, with an average rating of just about 6.5%. Compared to expectations, this can be called a complete disappointment, and netizens believe that there are many reasons.

flop kdrama 6As the first Kdrama set during the ancient times, this series was perhaps too ahead of its time.

First of all, seeing that ‘Arthdal Chronicles’ was soмєтнing never seen before on the ̾k̾o̾r̾e̾an screen, it took a long time to introduce the settings and characters, and by then, a large number of viewers already lσst interest. Then, before it was set in Ancient ̾k̾o̾r̾e̾a, the characters did not look traditionally “beautiful”, but rather “wild” and “unfamiliar”.

But the most major reason is that the series was too new. ‘Arthdal Chronicles’ was not at all a typical ̾k̾o̾r̾e̾an drama, and perhaps was released too ahead of its time.

Even famous actors have their bad days, and this list has surely proven that. What about you? Do you know any other ̾k̾o̾r̾e̾an dramas that failed despite a famous cast? Feel free to comment down below.